Reviews - Perception Kayaks Essence Plastic Sea Kayak Review

Canoe & Kayak UK Test Team - Posted on 18 Oct 2011
Perception Kayaks Essence Plastic Sea Kayak
Perception Kayaks Essence Plastic Sea Kayak
Right from the off we were impressed by the Perception Essence plastic sea kayak. Its sleek lines are very easy on the eye and the outfitting is really nice, especially for a boat at this price, with adjustable seat, backrest and thigh-braces and foot-pedals. As we’ve already mentioned we’re not the biggest fans of plastic foot-pedals but we had no issues with the ones in the Essence and they worked fine. Its single skin construction made it light too, so unloading it from the roof rack and carrying it down the beach was easy.

Once on the water we really enjoyed the Essence’s handling. It tracked exceptionally well with the skeg down, was fast and had a lively feel. It has a strong V on the hull, but with a softer, shallower section under the cockpit. The idea behind this is that the boat tracks well, even with the keg up and still has great initial and secondary stability. It does track really well, but, although it can certainly handle the rough stuff, it means its less manoeuvrable than some of the other boats on test and was noticeably harder work in amongst the rock gardens or playing on waves and tidal flows. Perception Kayaks Essence plastic sea kayak

Having said that though, that tracking means that it is adept at eating up miles with minimum effort; so is a good choice if doing long trips is your deck-bag. Storage duties are taken care by a bow and stern bulkheads with a handy day hatch just behind the cockpit. Perception have definitely taken things a bit further with the design of the Essence and we liked it far more than their previous plastic sea kayak The Sealion, which this replaces and good performance, good outfitting and a very competitive price all make the Essence a strong contender to go on your list of new boats to try.


RRP: £999
More Info: www.perceptionkayaks.co.uk

Specs 16 17
Length: 500cm 518cm
Width: 57cm 58cm
Weight: 25kg 26kg
Max Load: 150kg 160kg


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Please note retail prices change year on year, the prices in this review were correct on date of publication, but may have changed since.
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